The disappearance of Glee star Naya Rivera shocked many to their cores. Her young son was found alone after their boating trip to Lake Piru. Her four-year-old son who was found sailing the boat alone, by another boater, said his mother went for a swim, and never returned to the boat. The 33-year-old actress and Long Beach resident is beloved in the acting community. Hopefully, the worst does not come to pass, and she will be found safely.
However, authorities believe that she is presumed dead – possibly drowned – due since there is no evidence of a boating accident, and seems like foul play is afoot. If nothing else, I hope that this tragedy prevents another senseless mishap. Preventing deaths is our top concern– especially in cases of water safety. Below we compiled several of our top concerns about water travel, including things we’ve seen firsthand.
A solitary day out on a lake or a gentle brook is many people’s idea of happiness. Add in a fishing rod and a faithful dog, and you have what many people do on any given weekend. However, there is a substantial risk of traveling on water alone. A small pond is one thing. A river or lake is quite the other. If you are taking on a large body of water or one that flows quickly, you do not want to do it alone. Bring a friend if you can.
There are many things that you can and should do before embarking on your aquatic adventure. This includes practicing your swimming beforehand. If you do not know-how now is the best time to learn. Many local pools and the YMCA have swimming lessons, even for adults. The same goes for the use of CPR– which you can also learn through the Red Cross. If you don’t know right now– you need to know before hitting the waves.
Furthermore, make sure to always wear your life jacket when on the water. It might seem bulky, but it’s the most important thing that you will have with you on the water. They’re true lifesavers, and not having one can easily mean the difference between life and death. Do not go on the open water during a thunderstorm. If you are caught in a downpour while on a body of water, leave immediately. Large lakes conduct electricity and can be struck by lightning.
It’s hard to believe that a system that we learned when we were in grade school is so useful even today. Going out on the open water is dangerous, so having a friend there is key. Make sure that both people are sober at all times. If anyone is operating the vehicle, they should not drink at all the entire day. Having another person in the boat dramatically increases the chance of survival. It also allows another person to alert the authorities if something goes wrong.
If you are with young people, make sure that you are experienced. It’s bad enough to head out without practice by yourself. This goes double for young people in your care. Whether they are your kids or you are with a group, make sure to use the tips above. Ensure that each young person is wearing a life preserver. If this is a planned trip, get signed forms from their parents, showing that each young person took swimming or CPR lessons. Due to the relative nature of going out on the water with young people, you bear the responsibility. If you are not experienced enough to have them with you in those circumstances, you may be committing child endangerment.
This can take on a variety of roles. For most people, it means bringing along a cell phone so that you do not get separated from society. Make sure that you seal the cell phone in a plastic bag or otherwise keep it from getting wet. However, some people head to areas without cell coverage. What would you do then? Carry a mirror or a flare to alert others of your presence.
The above, of course, is only a small piece of the overall puzzle. There are many aspects of boat and water safety anyone must consider before heading out for the day. Whether you travel by yourself or with a group, there is still risk inherent. Even guided tours are not perfect and foolproof. If you were endangered on the water due to another person’s negligence, make sure to keep others safe.
If it happened to you, it may happen to others, as well. Contact our legal experts at the Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC for more info on water safety and liability. We are available 24 / 7 via phone or email. Call us at (213) 596-9642, or email our lawyers at firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to one of our trusted teammates. We will even come to you for a consultation to discuss your legal rights and options.